Board of Directors

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Alan Marks, JD, President 

Alan Marks has dedicated his career as an educator to creating successful educational models for students in K-12. He founded the South Valley Academy in Albuquerque’s South Valley, where he served a decade as head master. He has helped hundreds of minority students from across New Mexico successfully apply to and graduate from the nation’s top private colleges and universities.  He is the founder and president of the Center for Educational Initiatives.

Maria Martinez Sanchez, JD, Vice-President

Maria attended New Mexico State University where she received a Bachelor's of Social Work and a Bachelor's of Arts in Government. After college Maria worked as a licensed social worker with the developmentally disabled population. She later attended the University of New Mexico School of Law. Maria served as a staff attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for six years. Currently, she works as a staff attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico. 

Juan Abeyta, Secretary/Treasurer 

Juan Abeyta is a long-time community activist, with over 35 years of work in educational and cultural programming. He works as an independent consultant designing, implementing and evaluating educational programs and initiatives for a wide array of agencies and educational institutions. Recent clients have included:

• National Science Foundation – Broadening Participation in Computing Program; 
• Sandia National Laboratories – University Partnerships; 
• Southwest Indian Polytechnical Institute – Associate of Science in Engineering Technology Program; 
• ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) – a central New Mexico Hispanic dropout prevention program; and, 
• University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute – sustainable economic development initiative.

Cynthia Carrasco, Board Member

Cynthia Carrasco is a member of an emerging farming cooperative in Chama, New Mexico. Cynthia is currently on track to receive her bachelors degree in education.  Cynthia's family has been farming for over 80 years on both sides of her family. 

Bryce Townsend, Board Member

Bryce Townsend is the President of Black Mesa Farming Cooperative. He recived his undergraduate in architecture and is currently persuing his masters at the University of New Mexico in community and regional planning. Bryce made a commitment to his dad to continue farming and care for the land for years to come. 

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